Blackhawks center headed to Paris

He'll join a powerhouse team that's expected to contend this year.

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The Chicago Blackhawks have announced that centerman Marcus Kruger will join Team Sweden in Paris, France for the IIHL World Hockey Championships. The news was first reported by Blackhawks blog Second City Hockey and later confirmed by the team.

Not joining Kruger however will be fellow Swedish Blackhawks teammate Niklas Hjalmarsson. While Hjalmarsson was invited to play he declined the invitation. As for Kruger, the 26 year-old is well experienced at the international level, having represented Sweden in four medal appearances including two silver medals. The 6’, 180 lb Kruger is hoping this tournament will provide his first gold medal, however. Most recently, he represented Sweden at the NHL’s World Cup of Hockey, but failed to register a point as Sweden put forth a disappointing and lacklustre effort.

With Kruger’s addition the Swedes look poised to do some damage in the tournament’s Group A division with Denmark, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia and the United States. They’ll start things off against the Russians early next month.